The Port of Ashdod joins AIVP

AIVP – You have just joined the AIVP. Could you briefly introduce your organization?

The Ashdod Port, the port of Israel, is the country’s largest and most advanced port, constituting a main gateway for goods and cargo into and out of Israel.

Construction of the Ashdod Port began in 1961, with operations being launched in 1965. The Port is currently operated by Ashdod Port Company Ltd., a government company that is wholly owned by the State of Israel that was founded in July 2004.

The Ashdod Port Company specializes in providing loading and unloading services for cargo ships arriving at the port. Cargo handling services are provided to all ships and for all types of cargo. We provide service to five cargo sectors, comprising the different areas of operation that require various areas of specialization and handling general cargo (metals, lumber, machines, etc.), containers, bulk cargo (various grains, powders, etc), vehicules and passenger ships.

The port also provides cargo storage services until their delivery to the customer (in import) or until their loading onto the ship (in export). Storage services are provided in open spaces or in warehouses at the port. In addition to the handling and storage services, the Port Company provides its customers with a full array of services. They include especially logistics such as loading and unloading cargo from trucks, provision of full ship services, cargo storage, cargo release to the customer and emptying and storing containers

In order to innovate, Ashdod Port has initiated three main streams for innovation: Proof of Concept (PoC) program, an Accelerator in collaboration with 500 Startups, and a company venture capital. These programs focus on the areas of operations, energy, logistics, physical security, and cyber.

So far, over 50 companies have participated in proof-of-concept programs with the port, and following successful PoCs, the startups have the option for further collaborations with the port in a multitude of ways. For some startups, a successful PoC will result in a business collaboration with the port, in which the port will buy the product or service from the startup.

Another channel is that a royalty agreement will be signed, and thus there is mutual gain from the startup expanding their customer base through the Port’s global connections. Lastly, the Port of Ashdod can invest in startups that complete successful PoCs as part of their company venture capital program.

The added value of AIVP for the Port of Ashdod

AIVP – Why did you decide to join our international network and what can you bring to the AIVP?

Mr. Igal Ben Zikri – Corporate Communications Division Manager – The Ashdod Port is looking to reinforce its ties with other ports around the world and with port and municipal stakeholders in Israel and around the world, to improve the quality of life of residents of surrounding cities. We are party to the Port Center Network (PCN) venture in the organization to advance our visitors center by creating opportunities for information and conceptual exchanges for new projects between ports and port cities affiliated with the organization.

Ashdod Port is currently in the midst of expanding its global outreach and scale. The Port is keen to explore business opportunities with the AIVP community and continue to grow its innovation arm through collaborations and partnerships with widely recognized and prominent organizations such as AIVP.

Mr Igal Ben Zikri – Corporate Communications Division Manager

Start-ups and innovation

AIVP – How do you plan to incorporate the startups into your habitual functioning and what impacts you hope to achieve?

Mr. Roy Avrahami, Chief Innovation Officer – Currently the Port is conducting PoCs with different startups that can provide green energy solution. Following the completion of the PoCs, the Port plans to integrate these solutions throughout their site. Moreover, the Port is looking for Horizon grants that will support their ‘green’ aspirations. The startups currently focusing on sustainability are storage Drop, Midean, Phinergy and Ecosave.

Spinframe– a company who made a successful PoC At Ashdod port, delivers a real-time, AI-enabled platform for vehicle damage detection, inspection, and documentation.
Mr Avrahami Roy – Chief Innovation Officer

The first “port center” in Israël

AIVP – In which ways your visitor center has helped in your community outreach?

Mrs Rinat Cohen Klang – Visitors Center Director – The Ashdod Port’s Visitors Center is one of the largest; most invested and advanced centers in Israel. The Center is designed to present the strategic importance of the port to everyday life of Israeli citizens and its contribution to Israel’s economy from the date of its inception and to the present day, as well as to establish an emotional bond among visitors with the Port Company.

Introducing visitors to activity being conducted at the Port, to its history and to future plans, the Center was built as part of the Port Company’s community relations and social responsibility ventures. The Visitors Center is an integral part of the Corporate Communications Division that is in charge, inter alia, of initiating, executing and communicating diverse collaborations with various social and environmental entities.

The visits and tours that take place at the Ashdod Port appeal to a wide range of target audiences. This includes business customers such as importer and exporters, school pupils, tourists, soldiers, organized groups of retirees, etc. The Visitors Center was designed so that the visit is adapted to every area of interest of the target audience. Since its construction in October 2010 and until the end of 2021, over 400,000 people visited the Visitors Center !

Mrs Rinat Cohen Klang – Visitors Center Director